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♥ Chocolate, coconut and raspberry nutty date bars

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I like to take these bars to work in case I get hungry, especially since the canteen doesn’t cater well for vegans.

They’re super easy to make as well, simply throw all of the ingredients into a food processor and when coarsely ground spread into a tin lined with cling film before chilling in the fridge overnight. Simple!

Chocolate, coconut and raspberry nutty date bars:

Ingredients:

  • 1 x 32 g raspberry liquorice bar (completely optional – I had a Panda bar that needed using up)
  • ½ x cup cashews
  • 1 x cup almonds
  • 200g pack of dates (pitted and roughly chopped)
  • ½ x cup frozen raspberries
  • ¼ x cup desiccated coconut
  • 3 x tbsp drinking chocolate (I used Cadbury’s – make sure it’s not the instant version)

Method:

  1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and whizz until all ingredients are coarsely ground. The mixture should bind together when pinched.
  2. Spoon into a container (e.g. a baking tin), lined with cling film and using the back of the spoon, press down. 20140328_072427_zps9jjvgkeo ps4
  3. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Turn upside down onto a chopping board and peel off the cling film. Cut into bars and wrap individually in tinfoil. Store in the fridge.

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In the not too distant future I’ll be in France, staying in the arse-end of nowhere for three nights with work. Call me paranoid but I don’t want to go hungry, so I’ll be popping a few of these babies into my suitcase!

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♥ Leftover butter-cream cookies

I hate it when food goes to waste. Like REALLY hate it. I once had a complete tantrum at a colleague when he threw my one day out of date soya yoghurt in the bin, and I have FORBIDDEN the hubby from participating in food eating challenges until he is big enough to finish the plate…

So you can imagine the burden I was feeling after I was left with a cup and a half of buttercream after frosting a birthday cake. Well, to begin with it was two cups, but I quickly found out that butter-cream is very sickly when consumed on its own. So what to do? Invent a butter-cream cookie!

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These cookies aren’t like the last cookies I posted. These are less chewy but much better for dunking in a brew. They are also very yummy and extremely easy to make. 

There are endless variations of cookies that I could have made but I went for bran and sultana. They worked very well!

Ingredients:

Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix. EASY. You might need to use your hands towards the end in order to sculpt into a dough.

Break off walnut sized lumps and mould into a ¼ inch thick circle. Lay each circle out onto a baking tray lined with some lightly greased, grease-proof paper and pop into a preheated oven (180oC) for 10 – 15 minutes. I flipped mine over halfway through to ensure they baked evenly.

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Once cooled, scoff the lot! This recipe yielded 15, so you might need someone to help 😉


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♥ Date and nut crumble

A very easy recipe today – Date and nut crumble. A perfect snack to pop into your lunchbox.

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The trickiest bit is finding two identical baking tins. And maybe pitting all the dates, that’s always a boring task…

Ingredients:

  • ½ x cup almonds
  • ½ x cup cashews
  • ¼ x cup raisins or sultanas
  • ¾ x cup pitted dates
  • ½ x tbsp cocoa powder

 

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until a coarse paste is formed. To check if blended enough, squeeze a bit of the mixture between your finger and thumb. The mixture should bind together.
  2. Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased baking tin (I used a round one with a 9 inch diameter) and press down.
  3. Lightly grease the underneath of an identical baking tin and press down hard on the top of your crumble. Add a weight to the top of the baking tin (I used a large jar of golden syrup) and leave in the fridge for at least a couple of hours, but preferably overnight.
  4. Remove from the fridge and take off the top baking tin.
  5. Turn upside down onto a chopping board and gently tap the bottom baking tin until the crumble drops out.
  6. Slice up and enjoy!

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I individually wrapped mine up in tinfoil so I could take one to work each day.

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♥ Vegan sticky toffee pudding cupcakes

So, I’m attempting to type this on a tablet, which is really ANNOYING no judging me for any typos or formatting errors…!

Here you have it, my vegan sticky toffee pudding cupcakes with a salted caramel sauce filling, vanilla buttercream and salted caramel chip sprinkles.
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Remembering back to my childhood days l couldn’t resist turning these little gems into ‘butterfly’ cakes and I’m glad I did because I think they turned out super cute. I made these to take into work but didn’t tell people that they were devoid of eggs and dairy. They went down very well and people were still talking about them the next day!
I couldn’t find a recipe that I really liked the look of so I adapted several including a couple of non-vegan ones. I’m glad to say that I was very happy with the results. Rich, moist (hate that word!) and well and truly sticky!
Vegan sticky toffee cupcake recipe
 Cupcakes:
Adapted from this recipe:
Ingredients (makes 12 depending on the size of your cases)
  • 55g vegan marge
  • 130g Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce (homemade if you can! )
  • 90g Plain Flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 25g Golden Syrup
  • 45g Treacle
  • 150g Pitted Dates
  • 150 ml Boiling Water
  • 1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Method 
  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC
  • Pop the dates, hot water and vinegar into a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  • Cream the marge and sugar using an electric hand mixer, until light and fluffy and pale.
  • Mix in the treacle and golden syrup until smooth and fully combined.
  • By hand, stir in the apple sauce.
  • Sieve the flour, baking powder and bicarb and gently fold one tablespoon at a time into the margy-butter-syrup mix.
  • Fold in the date mixture into the cake batter until thoroughly combined. The mixture should be beautifully thick and airy.
  • Distribute evenly between your cake cases and pop into the oven. They should take around 10 to 15 mins but keep an eye on them. When done, an inserted skewer should come out clean.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.
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Caramel sauce and chips:
I basically, followed this lovely recipe but doubled up the mixture.
I changed the method slightly in order to make the sauce for the cupcakes as well as caramel chips for decoration.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups vegan margarine
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups soy milk
  • 2 cups golden syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Method

  • Grease and line an 8 x 8 inch baking tray with parchment
  • Place all ingredients (except vanilla) in a large saucepan. (Large because the sauce WILL boil up!)
  • At this stage, pour half of the caramel into a bowl and stir in the vanilla and 1/4 cup of soya milk. Leave to one side – this is the sauce for the center of the cupcakes.
  • Bring ingredients to a boil, keep stirring.
  • Cook over medium heat while stirring until the caramel reaches 245 degrees F. (If you don’t have a thermometer, use the soft ball test)
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into lined baking pan.
  • Allow to cool and use scissors to snip off little chips, ready to decorate your cakes with. To stop them sticking together I kept them in the freezer until I was ready to use.
Buttercream:
We’re back to this recipe for the buttercream:
Simply replace the butter for vegan marge:
Ingredients:
  • 125g vegan margarine
  • 250g Icing Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Method:

  • Cream the marge in a food mixer.
  • Add the icing sugar and blend on a medium speed on your mixer until completely combined (cover with a tea towel to prevent a cloud of icing sugar from covering your kitchen!)
  • Scrape down the bowl, add the vanilla extract and continue to blend for one more minute.
Assembly:
  1. When the cupcakes are cooled – and not a moment sooner- use a teaspoon to carve a circular piece of cake out of the middle of the top of each. Keep the little circles safe as you’ll be cutting each in half to create the butterfly ‘wings’.
  2. Next, add the caramel to the hole in each cake. I would recommend adding just a teaspoon’s worth to begin with to make sure there is enough to go around, then top up with whats left.
  3. When you’re done being saucy, its time to add the buttercream. I used a piping bag to be posh.
  4. Finally, position your wings into the buttercream and decorate with the caramel chips.

The next time someone tells me how they can’t understand why all vegans aren’t super skinny… I’m going to link them to this entry!! 🙂

MAJOR YUMMERS!
Sticky toffee cupcakes PS
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♥ Late night flapjack

When I lived at home with my parents, my Mum and I would sometimes stay up together watching American trash telly such as “Rock of Love”. It would get to about 11:00pm and I would turn to my Mum, pull my best sad face and tell her I was hungry. This would more often than not result in her getting up and making me her delicious flapjack.

I have no clue what my Mum puts in hers (apart from oats, obviously!) but tonight I found myself craving a slice of syrupy goodness. So here goes my quick and easy vegan flapjack.

I’m going to say that this recipe serves two people, since I shared with the hubby, but to be honest I could easily have eaten it all in one go!

Vegan flapjack

Recipe:

  • 60 g vegan margarine
  • 15 g Demerara sugar
  • 20 g golden syrup
  • 80 g rolled oats
  • 20 g oat bran (if you have no oat bran, just replace with 20 g of more oats)
  • 50 g currants

 

Method:

        1.  Preheat the oven to 190oC.

        2.  Stick a small pan on top of your scales. Calibrate and add the marg. Calibrate and add the sugar etc etc until all of your ingredients are in there.

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        3. Next stir over a low heat until everything has melted together (don’t let it burn, there is nothing quick and easy about cleaning burnt flapjack mix off your pan). Pour onto a well-greased baking tray and flatten out until about 1.5 cm thick.

       4. Bake for 10 – 15 mins. The flapjack will harden as it cools so score out your portions with a knife whilst it’s still hot (Carefully!). Try not to overcook the flapjack as the currants will become bitter if burned.

Flapjack

       5. SCOFF THE WHOLE LOT!

 

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♥ Chewy vanilla, chocolate chip cookies.

An easy one today, and perfect for a Sunday afternoon treat. vegan chewy, vanilla, chocolate chip cookies.

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The following recipe creates 24, although be prepared for the odd breakage!

Chewy vanilla, chocolate chip cookies:

Ingredients:

  • 340 x g plain flour
  • 8 x g baking powder
  • 250 x g vegan margarine
  • 250 x g sugar
  • 65 x g cornflakes
  • 10 x g vegan chocolate chips (I used Plamil)
  • 3 x mls vanilla extract (its worth forking out for the nice stuff!)

 

Method:

  1. Mix everything together in a large bowl with a large spoon (yes, that’s right, EVERYTHING!)
  2. Stir and stir and stir until you get a sticky dough. 
  3. Roll the dough into a log shape and slice into 24 equal parts. Roll each part, by hand, into a ball and press into a flat cookie shape before placing onto a baking tray (tray must either be WELL greased or lined with parchment.)
  4. Leave a generous amount of space between each cookie as they do expand (see pictures below!). This might mean you need several baking trays. Bake for 10 mins at 180oC (Although I would recommend taking a couple of sneaky peaks in case they start to burn)

Raw…

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 And cooked:

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     5. Allow to cool slightly before transferring onto a wire cooling rack. The cookies will still be very soft whilst they are hot, but they will firm up after a few minutes so don’t panic!

      6. Don’t allow them to cool completely whilst on the baking trays, or you’ll have a job getting them off.

Enjoy with a lovely hot cuppa. Preferably whilst watching telly, snuggled under a duvet on the sofa.  ♥ Bliss ♥

 

Flash-Gordonette…x

 

 

 

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